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النشر الإلكتروني

CHAP. III.

UPON THE CONSIDERATION OF DIVINE PRO

VIDENCE.

A MEDITATION FOR THE MORNING.

BLESSED GOD,

W ITHOUT thy holy providence, no crea: ture can subsist, by thine Almighty power they were created out of nothing, and if thou shouldst not sustain them, they must needs return to nothing; how wisely, how wonderfully dost thou guide and govern these inferior creatures? All things are at once disposed of by thee, and move successively to their appointed ends? but above all, how graciously hast thou provided for the good of man? what varieties of food, how secretly, how sweetly disposed it to sustentation ? No creature can be nourishing without thee, and with thee I enjoy not only nutriment, but delectation; how sweet is this thy goodness to my body! how much morė sweet thy mercy to my soul! and if thy temporal refreshments are so good, how ravishing is that celestial food, with which thy faints and angels are delighted!

Lord, how undeferving am I of these thy many favours ? Thou givest rain to the earth, and it becometh fruitful; thou loadeft me daily with thy blessings, and lo I am unthankful; even those creatures that are insensible, are daily nourished into augmentation, and man alone, whom thou hast made to live for ever, contents himself with daily diminution.

This woefully appears by my deadness and dulness in my christian calling, by my backwardness to holy duties, by my carelessness and coldness in prayer, weariness in reading, irksomeness in medi. tation, by my faint hope, fick faith, lukewarm love, frozen charity, lame patience, languishing zeal, and all those other visible decays. of goodness, which are none other than the very symptoms of a dying foul. ;

Ah now, Lord! how miserably deformed must I needs appear in thy sight, that am thus ugly in mine own? Thou that hadft compaffion on me, when I was in my blood, and then saideft unto me, live ; that hast washed me clean from fin and pollution, and espoused me into thine own bosom; wilt thou also love me in death? wilt thou court me in the grave? how juftly mightest thou for ever leave me to mine own ruin, that can so easily, so willingly forsake thee, for the pleasures of sin; and yet, how sweetly, how affectionately dost thou order all things

for me? Even my very fins invite me to a more happy, to a nearer union with thee." .. To thee, therefore, O my God, the life of my life, the very being, and assured comfort of my finful foul, and wretched body, do I address myself for . mercy and forgiveness.

I confess myself unworthy of thy gracious providence in fustaining this frail and infirm body, much more unworthy (O Lord) of thine unspeak. able love,'in reviving, relieving, embracing my deformed soul.

Blessed Lord, who am I, of whom thou art thus tenderly compassionate ? when I was in the womb I was defiled with sin, when I came out of it, I was covered with shiame; the world bewitched me, the flesh besotted me, the devil beguiled me.

Lord, when no eye pitied 'me, then thou hadft mercy on me ; and now at last when I am run from thee, when I have adulterated my first love, when I am become poor and wretched, and miserable, and blind, and naked, thou freely forgivest me, thou calleft me thy fair one, and givest me thy love.

O my God, I admire thy goodness, I deplore and abhor. mine own wretchedness: O let the sweetness of thy love in Christ, inflame the dying sparks of of my benummed soul to praise thee without ceasing.

Expatiate my narrow thoughts, with daily contemplation of my heavenly home, with joyful expectation of the sweet fruition of eternity; O give me fuch a blessed raptasy of foul, that I may live above the reach of human misery, and reign with thee hereafter in immortal glory,

CHAP. IV.

UPON THE CONSIDERATION OF THE SIN FUL

NESS, SHORTNESS, AND UNCERTAINTY OF

LIFE.

A MEDITATION FOR EVENING.

LORD,

; WHEN I call to mind how many days have past mé without bending of a knee, how many nights I have gone prayerless to bed, I may well wonder that I am this hour alive to fpeak unto thee : I have been too unmindful of thy holy providence, and am therefore utterly unworthy of thy merciful prote&tion : few and full of evil have my days been in the house of my pilgrimage, I know not how foon I may go hence, and yet I still live as if I knew not why I came hither.

I am many ways invited to my heavenly home; how sweetly dost thou wean from the miseries of life, by the blessedness of death. By this evening's rest of my body, I am put in mind of that eternal rest of my soul ; this day's ending, tells me, that the end of all things is at hand, that the fashion of this world passeth, and that all things shall become new:

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